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Parents of Internet-Addicted Kids Use TV as Punishment

The Short of It

Parents of children allowed to use smartphones, tablets and other Internet sources are making their kids take time-outs from the digital devices by forcing them to watch TV.

The Lowdown

Half of the 800 moms and dads involved in a market research study conducted by Miner & Co. Studio explained that they punish their children, ages 2-12, by taking away access to computers, tablets and smartphones and then making the children watch TV.

"It's a form of time-out," said Robert Miner, president of Miner & Co. "No screen time would probably be the digital equivalent of being grounded."

Some of the children involved in the study were asked what they'd pick if they had to choose between eating dessert or getting to use an iPad. They all chose time with the digital device.

Parent Tanya Perez spoke to BuzzFeed News about her 12-year-old daughter's addiction to Internet-based games: "She doesn't want to watch TV; she wants to be online. I can't believe I'm in this position where I'm like, 'Watch TV!' I never anticipated having to deal with this much online presence in our lives," Perez explained.

The Upshot

Look around. How many people near you have a cell phone within arms reach or are gazing into a tablet right now? Children watch and mirror everything they see adults doing.

So, here's an idea: If you want your child to be less consumed by digital devices, give them positive examples to follow. Parents, put down your smartphones and tablets and go for a family walk, play ball in the yard, take the dog for a run at the park, read a book or bake cookies with the kids.

When you take a break from the screen, so will your kids.

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